“Excuses are like a–holes, Taylor! Everybody’s got one!” – Sgt. O’Neill (played by John C. McGinley in the 1986 movie “Platoon”)
The snow-storm that recently hit the northeast after Christmas and literally buried NYC made me think of a lacrosse photo of mine. The photo was taken back in 2007 when the post-collegiate lacrosse team that I help start became competitive in the American Lacrosse League. Excited to be playing a very high-level of lacrosse each week, my mind was focused to one team in particular that always stood out – The New York Athletic Club a.k.a. “NYAC” or “The AC”. I looked at their roster and each name (except for two) was a Div. I All-American in college, consisting of current/former Major League Lacrosse, National Lacrosse League players and have either tried out/made a U.S. National Team in the ILF World Games of Lacrosse. I was soon going to find out what 4-years of art-school and earning a BFA in Communications Design, was going to get me on the lacrosse field facing this kind of talent.
“FAILURE to prepare, is a preparation for FAILURE” -John Wooden (Former basketball coach of UCLA. October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010)
The days leading up to the game I asked my friend, Drew Andreotti, to meet me at the turf field (Chelsea Waterside Park) on W. 23rd St. along the Westside Highway and shoot some lacrosse balls at me. A heavy snow-storm the night before decided to hamper our plans but we decided to ‘screw that’ and go ahead regardless. As I arrived to the field, Drew graciously labored well-ahead of time to clear out the snow for a goal crease and ample shooting space.
“Stick-side high” 8x
“Off-stick-side high” 8x
“Stick-side hip” 8x
…and so on and so forth with the goalie warm-up/shooting routine. We braved the freezing elements and the harsh glare from the snow and ice called for a thick layer of eye-black. To keep our sanity and for some laughs, I kept on screaming out loud “NYAAAACCCC!” to mimic the winter, outdoor training scene in “Rocky IV” where Rocky yells his opponent’s name of “Ivan Drago” after reaching the top of a mountain. Before the training session ended Drew took out his cellphone and got a pic of the crazy, 1-hour experience.
The opening quote may be of poor taste, but it’s something I hear a lot of, even from my own mouth – excuses. But the pic and the experience is a constant reminder that if something is important to you (whatever it is) you will make time for it.